How to free up space on an iPad that’s running out of storage, in 4 different ways

If your iPad is running out of storage, there are several ways you could free up significant space on it.

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If your iPad is running out of storage, there are several ways you could free up significant space on it.
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Hollis Johnson

  • When your iPad is running low on space, it might run more slowly. You might also encounter problems like the inability to install new apps.
  • You can free up space on an iPad by deleting unwanted or unused apps and their data in the Settings app.
  • You can also reclaim space by deleting unwanted music files, clearing the browser cache, and removing old email messages.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Even though the latest iPad models come with a generous amount of storage space, upgrading to higher capacities can be quite expensive.

If you have an iPad with a more modest amount of room for apps and data – or if you’ve simply filled yours to the brim regardless – there are a variety of ways you can reclaim space on your tablet.

Here’s everything you need to know.


See how much storage space your iPad has available

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The iPad Storage page is where you should go to see how your iPad’s storage space is being used, and what to delete to free space.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How much space do you actually have? Your first stop should be to see how much room you need to make.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap “General,” and then tap “iPad Storage.”

3. After a few moments, your iPad will display a visual representation of how much space you have left, and which apps are using the most memory. This gives you a quick and easy way to see what apps you can delete to make the biggest difference to your storage situation.


Delete the apps and data that can save you the most room

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You can see how much space each app takes up as well as how much data it’s storing. Delete both, or keep just the data.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Under the graph of your iPad’s storage space, you’ll see a list of every app on the device, listed in order from largest – taking up the most space – to smallest.

The numbers displayed for each app include both the app itself and any data files the app is using. For example, the Music app might be near the top of the list, because while the app itself is lightweight, the music files it stores tend to take up a relatively large amount of space. You might also see your video apps near the top, because videos are large.

For details on any app, tap it. On the app’s details page, you can see how much space it’s taking up and have the option to delete the app and all of its data, or just delete the app and leave the data behind.

  • Tap “Delete App” to remove everything – app and data. This recovers the most space possible, and is good if you need to reclaim a lot of space in a hurry. Unfortunately, you will lose your data in the process, though.
  • Tap “Offload App” to delete the app from the iPad, but leave the data behind. If you later reinstall the app, the data will still be on the iPad and you can carry on as if nothing happened. This is a good option to choose if you only need to reclaim some space temporarily and plan to reinstall the app later – and the app is large but the data doesn’t take up a lot of room. You won’t see much benefit from offloading a music or video app and leaving the files on the iPad.

Delete unwanted music from your iPad

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You have a lot of options to delete music, including everything or selectively by artist, album, or individual track.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

If you have a lot of music files on your iPad, deleting some or all of them can save you a lot of space.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap “General,” and then tap “iPad Storage.”
  3. Find the Music app in the list and tap it.

You have a few options:

  • Delete an entire artist. Swipe left on any artists that you want to remove and tap “Delete.”
  • Delete specific albums or songs. Tap an artist to see a list of all of that artist’s albums. Swipe left and tap “Delete,” or tap on an album to delete specific songs in the same way.
  • Delete everything. Swipe “All Songs” to the left and then tap “Delete.”

Clear your iPad’s Safari’s cache

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When you clear the cache of your web browser, remember that you’ll be automatically logged out of any webpages that you were using.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Safari’s browser cache could be taking up a lot of space on your iPad; all those temporary internet files add up over time. If choose to clear the cache, you will get some storage space back, but you’ll also be logged out of any websites you are signed into, and all your cookies will be deleted – so using Safari will be like using a new computer.

To clear your cache, see our article “How to clear the cache on your iPad to make it run faster.”


Delete old emails from your iPad

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There’s a simple trick that will allow you to delete all the email on your iPad at once.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

You might also be able to save some space on your iPad by deleting some email. Emails usually don’t take up a lot of space, though if you have mail with large attachments or embedded photos, that can net you a fair bit of space. To see how to delete all of your email at once – or all the email in specific folders at once – see our article “How to delete all the email on an iPad.”